Good Times Get Underway
Published on October 24th, 2016
Virgin Gorda, BVI (October 24, 2016) – The Defiance Day Regatta is the traditional “soft opening” for the 30th Bitter End Yacht Club’s Pro Am Regatta, an annual event that allows ‘mere mortals’ to crew for some of the world’s best professional skippers.
Maybe it’s pure happenstance that the two big winners today – Dave Ullman and Ed Baird – are both members of the 2016 Induction Class for the US National Sailing Hall of Fame. Or maybe not.
The Defiance Day Regatta starts with an 11 mile dash from BEYC down to The Baths where the competitors do some snorkeling before a festive barbecue luncheon. The final 11 mile leg is a tight reach/beat back to BEYC in the BVI’s North Sound.
In the IC 24 Class, Dave Ullman’s team won both legs of the course, but Ullman only steered the start of each race. Shortly after he crossed the starting line Ullman handed off the helm to both Tom Story and Gordon La Grange who were assigned to his crew. “Dave is a natural coach,” stated La Grange. “He taught me so much.”
Second place finisher and 2015 Pro Am champion Taylor Canfield commented about the challenging, abnormal, light-air conditions. “There was total fleet inversion. We were all leading the parade at some point,” he commented, “but Ullman’s team won by daring to go closest to the sand on the way back.” It turned out to be a very good call.
Reigning TP52 World Champion Ed Baird won line honors in the multihall Class sailing ‘Sundowner’, a Leapard 47. One of his crew members commented, “Ed’s a real tweeker.” Some people just don’t know how to relax.
2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin won the Sunsail 444 Class closely followed by JJ Fetter and Dave Perry.
Pro Am Fleet Racing action begins tomorrow with guests of the BEYC crewing for the seven pro sailors for this year’s championship. Racing continues through to October 28.
Background: The 30th edition of the Bitter End Yacht Club Pro-Am Regatta, an adult fantasy camp held annually in the British Virgin Islands, brings together an all-star line-up to join resort guests for a week of competition on October 22-29.